Archive for the ‘Chronic Pain’ Category

Undefeated Mind: ,,,,, ,Pain,,, who knew?

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“Pain is a fascinating phenomenon. The way the brain registers physical pain, for instance, is not only complex but counterintuitive.
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Though the pain of a stubbed toe or a headache may seem like a single, unified experience, it actually represents the sum of two different experiences created by two separate areas of the brain—
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one called the posterior insula, which registers the sensation of pain (its quality, intensity, and so on)
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and the other the anterior cingulate cortex, which registers pain’s unpleasant character.”
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Remember this author is a skilled doctor and a Buddhist. His perspective seems to be pragmatic and very unique to me.
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So, we have a judgment center for feeling pain’s uncomfortableness.
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So, I would say, we can influence pain as it passes through our mind, cool.
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More to come,
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Aerobic exercise to exhaustion, okay past wanting to quit, go lay on the couch?

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Aerobic exercise can trigger the release of powerful, natural occurring endorphins, opioid like substances, pain killers without a prescription.
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We have our own pharmacy right here at our doorstep.
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It takes exercising to bring the pain out, to access this personal RX dispensary. (This means we are headed towards our pain, like we do with the Breathing Track and PTSD triggers, not around or avoid, towards.)
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For me this is walking uphill, I bring my pain out to exercise, to walk him, Mr. P. for his daily routine.
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Understand chronic pain is not functional, it is broken, a pain signal is constantly firing messages Of danger.
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Summoning your pain with exercise, then continuing to walk, swim, tread, ellipse or run will change you, your relationship with your pain, your life.
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My chronic pain changed, condensed, became something else slowly.
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Pain has to travel through the mind and thus opportunity to impact it, has arrived with practice.
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Takes leather balls to play rugby.
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Part two pain..

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As a way to better understand the meditation experience, think about the mental focus a top endurance athlete exhibits in competition.
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The conviction to overcome excruciating muscle aches and pains enables world class cyclists to complete the Tour de France (a 2000 mile race over 21 days at altitude) and long distance runners to finish marathons in around 2 hours (averaging less than 5 min per mile).
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Of course, great endurance athletes are not necessarily meditators, but they are individuals who have cultivated mental discipline with years of training in which they have come to appreciate the essence of “mind over matter.”
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This study hints at the fascinating implication that one need not pursue the path of a monk, adopt an extreme stoic philosophy or even engage in an intensive meditation retreat to experience substantial health benefits.
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It’s possible that intensive meditation may offer additional rewards, yet this study shows that even short-term meditation training yields a meaningful reduction in the suffering associated with common, everyday pain.
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 70 million Americans suffer from chronic pain with an economic burden of at least $100 billion in the United States.
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The low cost and low risk of mindfulness meditation make it particularly attractive for chronic pain sufferers, though the value extends to anyone looking for a boost in concentration and a reduction in suffering.
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In a way, we all have become conditioned to react to the distractions in our environments like a dog conditioned to the sound of a bell.
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And so couldn’t we all use a bit of the calm, quiet mind lying dormant beneath the sound of the iPhone, the Blackberry, and Pavlov’s bell ringing in our ear?
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Pain Is No Matter for the Meditative Mind by Stephen Dougherty, MS | October 23, 2011

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In the West, the notion of “mind over matter” has been circulating for centuries (at least since Aurelius and previous Stoic philosophers), yet it has been relatively recently that a technique that puts this insight into practice became the subject of serious scientific examination, namely mindfulness meditation.
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Mindfulness meditation achieves this effect by cultivating a sense of equanimity through objective observation of the internal processes of the body.
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Over the past decade, the science of mindfulness meditation has revealed a wide range of cognitive and emotional benefits conferred on practitioners including enhanced attention, lower pain sensitivity, and reduced emotional reactivity.
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The evidence for these benefits has also been supported by brain imaging studies in long-term meditators showing that change occurs at the physiological level.
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To date, the majority of mindfulness meditation studies have been conducted in individuals with long-term intensive meditation experience.
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In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at Wake Forest University explored the impact of mindfulness meditation on pain after only a few days of meditation training.
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A group of 15 healthy volunteers took part in four 20-minute sessions of mindfulness meditation instruction where they were trained to maintain awareness on their own breathing while acknowledging and letting go of distraction.
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The study evaluated the effect of mindfulness meditation in two dimensions: 1) how the volunteers reported pain intensity and unpleasantness, and 2) how brain activation patterns changed as measured by functional MRI.
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To assess the volunteer’s pain response, a small thermal simulator heated to around 120°F was applied to the back of the leg.
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Comparing responses to the heat before and after meditation training, volunteers reported a 40% reduction in pain intensity and a 57% reduction in unpleasantness associated with the heat stimulus.
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Brain imaging indicated increased activation in areas associated with awareness of the pain sensation and a reduced activation in areas associated with the emotional response to pain perception.
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Interestingly, a decoupling of two brain areas, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex, was observed. The prefrontal cortex is thought to control attention and other executive functions, whereas the cingulate cortex is associated with the emotional salience of a stimulus.
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The authors suggest that the beneficial effect of meditation may be due to a dissociation of the awareness of pain with the emotional evaluation of the pain attached to it.
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Accordingly, the meditators are aware of the pain sensation, but are not judging or focusing on the disturbing quality normally associated with the pain. Marcus Aurelius sums it up nicely,
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If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
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To be Continued
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Naming my pain, a jocks strategy to compete, improve, survive……. …. I am crazy,,maybe!!!!!!!

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Evaluating my pain one day, I realized pain was invisible like the wind, powerful without form, structure.
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My opponent, was a ghost, a real powerful, shadowy figure, capable of consuming vast amounts of energy and time.
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Tired of the chronic pain group, I threw most of my meds away, and decided to approach this challenge as a jock, a mindful jock now.
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Pain needed to have human qualities, finite characteristics so I could compete against it.
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So, I named my pain Mr. P.
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Mister P. was my opponent, when walking, exercising, competing, resisting the urge to quit when hurting, tired.
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I walked till Mr. P. cried out for me to quit, to go back and get a beer, watch TV, then I turned the music up and marched for another twenty minutes.
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Mr. P. could not stop me from moving my legs, I discovered, pain had weaknesses
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After a couple of weeks, a big shift happened, my pain compressed, I was familiar with it, a friend with it finally.
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We do not have to fear or be reverent to our pain, it needs no honor.
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Keep moving, exercise, challenge yourself, compete, exhaust yourself, rest.
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“Pain is inevitable. . Suffering is optional.” . ~Zen proverb~


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Chronic pain patient, meditator (me), pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, today.
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The pain stands alone, what we add by reacting, giving attention, becoming alarmed or afraid, is called suffering.
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It is self-inflicted, administered by our thoughts and attention.
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I do not think about my pain, my spine, my discomfort.
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I leave it alone, I do not touch it, fear it, caress it or avoid it.
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Pain does not have an cruel manner, an angry temper or evil intent, it is neutral, a body mechanism, broken now and firing chronically.
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Next post, chronic pain can be compressed, diminished, subdued, impacted.
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I have Chronic Pain:—–I do not Suffer!!!!! Updated new comments!!,

Evariste Carpenter

My pain receives as little recognition as possible.  My pain does not harbor harmful emotions or intent towards me.  Pain is faceless, odorless and invisible like the wind.

Science can not gauge its severity yet.  Others can not feel our pain or care about our plight.  Pain is just a warning signal(body mechanism) to protect us.
I go for power walks where my pain is aroused to the point, where my body wants to stop, then I go another twenty minutes.  This has many benefits physically and mentally.  My pain does not stop me from moving my legs and walking through it mindfully.
My own endorphins have helped kill the pain, also.  My own body is learning to accept and adjust to this stress on its own.  My ego knows pain does not stop me from exercising,  so later it does not stop me from enjoying other activities.
Pain is more of an inconvenience to me, it drains energy handling it all day long.  Besides that my life does not have suffering but calm excitement and opportunity.  I can accept my life with C-PTSD and chronic pain or suffer.  I surrendered and escaped.
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